Friday, 18 September 2009

No.159 : Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story




Well we’re back after a long pause while we fought for our entitlement of Arts Council funding. It not what you know it’s who you blow in this game! We can’t guarantee the same level of ‘W’ movie immersion as you’re used to but the occasional ‘W’ will certainly keep the wwwolf from the door.

First up in this tranche of ‘W’ wonderment is a real treat that is certainly at the pinnacle of the spoof genre, one that is often disparaged by this forum and several lesser ones too.

As you could probably guess from the title this is a comedy retread of the Johnny Cash bio-pic ‘Walk the Line’ but don’t confuse it with the likes of ‘Teen Movie’ and shite like that, this is a fully rounded picture that walks a similar line but picks off plenty of laughs along the way.

We open with the child Dewey who is growing up on a mid-western farm with his prodigy brother. After an ill advised, but surprisingly deadly, machete fight his brother is killed leaving his Dad stating ‘the wrong boy died’ throughout the film, even after Dewey has made his name.

The child actor is quickly replaced by John C McGinley who takes over the role when Dewey is just 14 and towers over the teens of his high school band. His career quickly blossoms and soon he’s on the road with Elvis and being introduced to ever more potent drugs by his long term band mates.

Like Cash, Dewey has his ups and downs and after a few falls secures his own cheesy 1970’s TV series and a succession of trophy wives. He also emulates Johnny by having one woman colouring his life and Dewey is lucky enough to have Jenna Fischer on his arm, presumably when ‘The Office’ was shut.

As the film nears it’s climax we are returned to the opening frames where a contemplative Cox was silently recounting his life before going on stage for one last time. Can Dewey still put on a great show after endless nights of booze, drugs and women?

I have been accused in the past of liking spoof musicals a bit too much, and in truth I’ll take ‘The Rutles’ over ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ anytime, but this film is far more enjoyable than Joaquin Phoenix wrestling with his emotions and acting ability any day.

The songs like ‘Walk Hard’ and ‘Guilty As Charged’ are excellent and Reilly does a great job as the hapless lead. The laughs are frequent and layered throughout the film and at no point does it sag. There is plenty of swearing and nudity to keep the interest levels high and the cast, including plenty of well known cameos, is universally great.

As you will probably have gathered this film is a true return to form for the ‘W’ quest and has certainly got the juices flowing again. Give it a look - run, don’t walk to the video shop. Or download it, I don’t care.

Best Bit : Lyall Lovett has it large
‘W’ Rating : 20/23

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